HITS Daily Double
John Hiatt, I'm With Her (pictured), The Milk Carton Kids and John Prine are among the 99 new artists confirmed for AmericanaFest: The Americana Music Festival & Conference, which runs 9/11-16 in Nashville. More than 250 artists slated to perform at the 19th annual, six-day festival and conference. Festival wristbands are on sale to the public for $75. Among the acts newly confirmed are Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Case, Sarah Borges, The Suffers, Treetop Flyers and Will Hoge.
BBR Music Group announced that Nashville veteran Ken Tucker has been named VP of Promotion for label imprint Wheelhouse Records. Tucker will report directly to SVP Carson James and work with a roster that includes Trace Adkins, Granger Smith and Kristian Bush. Prior to joining Wheelhouse Records, Tucker served as Apple Music's Nashville-based music programmer. A former radio programmer and on-air personality, Tucker served in regional and national promotion positions at Warner Bros. Nashville championing various artists, notably Blake Shelton. A former adjunct professor at Belmont University, Tucker is a past Chairman of the Academy of Country Music, a lifetime member of the Country Music Association and is a proud member of the Leadership Music Class of 2007. His new role will be effective 7/23.
The 9th Annual ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp in Nashville concluded last night (6/19) after a week packed with musical activates and excursions, including karaoke with Brandon Lay, a trip to the Seacrest Studios with Cassadee Pope, a meet and greet with Danielle Bradbery and more. Campers got to collectively write an original song, “One Voice,” during a songwriting session with Ross Copperman, Kip Moore, and Jon Nite and in a grand fashion, the week came to an emotional end with a performance by Craig Morgan at the Grand Ole Opry, who joined the campers to sing their original song. Click the pic for a larger view. A day earlier, the campers recorded their original song at the Belmont University’s Ocean Way Nashville Studios, where Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott visited to do a Q&A. The camp, which gives those with Williams syndrome the opportunity to gain music enrichment through performance and education, is a partnership between ACM Lifting Lives and Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Seen are (l-r): Vanderbilt University Medical Center Associate, Office of Engagement Melita Rippy, Grand Ole Opry/Director Marketing, Communication and Artist Initiatives Dan Rogers, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Senior Research Specialist Elizabeth Roof, Associate Director of Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development Dr. Elisabeth Dykens, ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp founder Lorie Lytle, Academy of Country Music and ACM Lifting Lives Secretary Tommy Moore, Morgan, ACM Lifting Lives Vice President Paul Barnabee, Academy of Country Music CEO Pete Fisher, and Academy of Country Music President Duane Clark.
The Valory Music Co. has named industry vet Christy DiNapoli as Southwest Director of Promotion & Marketing. He'll be working on projects by such roster acts as Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett, Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Tyler Rich and Delta Rae. “Christy brings a vast array of experience to The Valory Music Co.,” proclaimed GM George Briner. “His background in management, publishing and producing adds that much more to what we are already building and as a friend to many within industry already, he is wired to win.” “I’ve successfully worked with George, Chris Palmer and Scott Borchetta on various projects over the years,” said DiNapoli, whose CV includes stints at Warner Bros. and MTM Music Group. “The Valory Music Co. is a winning label and I’m honored to be a part of what they are doing.”
Blue Chair Bay/Warner Nashville's Kenny Chesney is gearing up for the release of his upcoming album, Songs for the Saints, set to drop 7/27. Following Hurricane Irma, thousands of homes in the Caribbean were destroyed and this album is Chesney’s way of offering hope, support and commitment to the rescue and healing of the people who live in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Guest features on the album include Ziggy Marley, Mindy Smith and Jimmy Buffett. Each one of them, Chesney states, “has a tie to [his] life on the islands, but also reflect some piece of what we’re trying to do. I’m honored they also want to help.” The 12-song project—including lead single “Get Along,” which was revealed at the 2018 ACM Awards—aims to show the spirit and resilience of those people and go past the trauma to focus on healing. “To me, it’s about the hope, the strength, the joy and the courage they are bringing to the task of rebuilding after a kind of destruction no one has ever seen before," adds Chesney. Proceeds will benefit Love for Love City, a charity Chesney founded in the wake of Irma. Below is the complete tracklisting. The album goes up for pre-order on Friday (6/15), more than a month ahead of ahead of its release.“Songs for the Saints”“Every Heart”“Get Along”“Pirate Song”“Love for Love City” (w/Ziggy Marley)“Ends of the Earth”“Gulf Moon”“Island Rain”“Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” (w/Jimmy Buffett)“We’re All Here” “Better Boat” (f/Mindy Smith)
Singer/songwriter, guitar badass and erstwhile The Voice contestant Greylan James celebrates inking a pub deal with UMPG by posing for this down-home pic with the pubco's Nashville boss Kent Earls and team. A&R VP/Special Projects Ron Stuve and Sr. Creative Director Travis Gordon spearheaded the deal. "Our entire team is thrilled Greylan decided to make UMPG his next publishing home," Earls declared. "The passion, hard work and freshness he brings to the writing room each day is truly infectious. We look forward to helping Greylan reach all of his goals." A blazing six-string duel ensued in which actual flames were seen issuing from Earls' fingers; sadly, nobody recorded it. Seen just before calling for fresh strings are (back, l-r) Scott Safford, Safford Motley, PLC; VP Creative Cyndi Forman, Stuve, Sr. Creative Director Missy Roberts; (Middle Row, l-r) Earls and Gordon; (front) James.
During the iHeart Country album release party for The Mountain by Capitol Nashville's Dierks Bentley, the following people wondered how many beverages would make it OK to be appearing on this website (l-r): iHeart's Rod Phillips and Marc Chase, Bentley and iHeart's Alissa Pollack and Maynard. This caption is brought to you by HITS' forthcoming Nashville special issue, which will be 30% more absorbent than the leading trade magazine.
It was just announced that Spotify is launching Hot Country Live—a new live concert series and extension of popular Hot Country playlist, which boasts 4.8m followers on the platform. Carrie Underwood will serve as the inaugural event's headliner, taking the stage at Seaport’s The Rooftop at Pier 17 on 7/4. The Capitol Nashville star is expected to play an array of hits, including current single "Cry Pretty"—now #12 and growing at Country radio. Warner Bros./Warner Nashville's Dan + Shay are scheduled to open, and more performers should be announced at a later date. “This year Spotify is making a concentrated effort to shine a spotlight on country music and to create a gathering place for country artists and fans to share and experience the people, stories, and spirit that define their community," explained Spotify's Nashville Head of Artist and Label Marketing, Brittany Schaffer. "This starts on platform in the Hot Country playlist and is brought to life through our unique live events, like Hot Country Live.”Underwood also chimed in: "I’m thrilled to be a part of Spotify’s first ever Hot Country Live show, and can’t wait to celebrate the holiday playing live music under the stars," shared Underwood. We, on the other hand, can't wait to celebrate the holiday drowning our sorrows in copious amounts of fried chicken. There may even be crying, but we can guarantee it won't be pretty.
“The destruction was too much,” Kenny Chesney says of his desire to help the Virgin Islands. The Blue Chair Bay/Warner Nashville megastar, who immediately set up the Love for Love City Fund in response to said turmoil, has raised seven figures worth of support so far, providing generators, medical supplies, food, water, tarps, tools, transport, shipping and workers. And future proceeds from Songs for the Saints—an album (due 7/27) inspired by the local heroes and those affected by Irma—will keep the momentum alive. Love for Love City t-shirts and hats will also be sold at every tour stop.“There were too many other places that were hurting. When I realized the help that had to happen, I did what I could to facilitate getting things done. But even more powerful to me were the people of the No Shoes Nation, who stepped up and gave what they could. They showed me how people come together in times of crisis to lift up people they don’t even know.”“I didn’t necessarily have ‘a plan,’ but these songs needed to be written,” he continued. “And a friend said, ‘You should call the album Songs for the Saints, make it something that honors the people and the life on those islands, but also provides for them long after what happened has fallen off the news cycle.’ It hit me, that was what I was already doing and hadn’t realized it.”“I never in the world thought I’d talk to FEMA people, but every day, there was a new problem to solve. I’ve never made a record in the middle of such chaos and anxiety, but I took every bit of that into the studio – and you can hear it in the vocals. Looking back, what a beautiful way to make a record for people I love so much. And now, I can give that music back to them in a way that makes a difference.”
RCA Nashville's Old Dominion premiered the music video for their single “Hotel Key” via VEVO and premiered the song during their perf at the CMA Music Festival. The single, latest from their sophomore album Happy Endings, debuted at #1 on the Top Country Albums chart and marks the country quintet’s third consecutive #1. Basking in the wake of their ACM win for Best Vocal Group, the second leg of their Happy Endings World Tour kicks off in the fall. And if you'd like to make a hotel/happy endings joke, make it on your own time; this is a family publication.
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